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The BBC's John Silverman reports
"David Irving asked a judge to think the unthinkable: that history had got it wrong"
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David Irving speaking on Breakfast News
"The findings are totally perverse"
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Deborah Lipstadt on Breakfast News
"If this was about freedom of speech, it was about my freedom of speech"
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Wednesday, 12 April, 2000, 07:54 GMT 08:54 UK
Irving defiant over libel defeat
David Irving
David Irving at his home in London after the verdict
Historian David Irving has said he will continue to "deny the Holocaust", despite losing a libel battle that could leave him with a massive legal bill.

He told BBC1's Breakfast News he had received hundreds of supportive e-mails since the judgment.

"I was up to 4am reading through them - from people who have read my books and saying `What on earth is going on here, Mr Irving?"' he said.

Asked by Jeremy Paxman on the BBC's Newsnight programme whether he would stop "denying the Holocaust" in light of Tuesday's judgment he said: "Good Lord, no."

Mr Irving, the 62-year-old author of Hitler's War, is facing ruin over a defence costs bill of up to 2m following Mr Justice Gray's ruling.

Asked if he would pay, he replied: "I'll write out a cheque".

A racist, an anti-Semite, an active Holocaust denier, who associates with right wing extremists.

Judge Charles Gray's ruling
But he later said that was a facetious comment and admitted he did not have the money.

Mr Irving denied being a racist - he said he had employed a Sri Lankan, an Indian and a Jamaican - and said Mr Justice Gray had "tipped bucketfuls of slime" over him in his judgment.

The judge ruled Mr Irving was "an active Holocaust denier; that he is anti-Semitic and racist and that he associates with right wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism".

Mr Irving said he would only accept the judgment when the appeal process had been exhausted.

US academic Deborah Lipstadt and publishers Penguin Books, who fought the action over her 1994 work, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, were jubilant after the judgement was given at the High Court in London.

Second action

The controversial historian brought the libel action because, he said, his reputation had been damaged by Prof Lipstadt and his livelihood threatened as a result.

Mr Irving still has an outstanding libel action against The Observer newspaper and writer Gitta Sereny, who made similar claims about him to those of Professor Lipstadt.

Roger Alton, editor of The Observer, said: "In the event that David Irving does not withdraw his claims against The Observer we will be applying for the case to be struck out.

Prof Lipstadt
Prof Lipstadt said it was a battle won in the war for truth
"In either case we will be asking Irving to pay our costs. It would be a huge waste of time and money for the same issues to be litigated again."

In her book, Ms Lipstadt, who is Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust studies at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, described Mr Irving as "one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial".

Prof Lipstadt said: "I see this not only as a personal victory, but also as a victory for all those who speak out against hate and prejudice."

Mr Irving said he was "flabbergasted" and called the ruling perverse. He was refused leave to appeal by the judge although he may be allowed to apply directly to the Court of Appeal.

David Irving is egged
Mr Irving was pelted with eggs outside the court
He told the BBC: "It's my fault. I failed to convince the judge, not because my documents were wrong but I was not articulate enough.

"I assumed he was following more closely than I think he was."

Mr Irving said he had never claimed the Holocaust did not occur, but did question the number of Jewish dead and denied their systematic extermination in concentration camp gas chambers.

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12 Apr 00 | Media reports
Iranian paper backs Irving
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